You may or may not know this, but, we all have the six pack muscle, and by all, I mean man or woman, fat or thin, athletic or not, ALL. This muscle is called the Rectus Abdominis meaning “straight belly”. The reason why many people do not see their six pack muscle is because of the accumulated fat in the tummy region. If your goal therefore is to make your six pack muscle more visible, you should aim at shedding your tummy fat and strengthening the muscles. Exercise does not create six packs, God did, exercise only helps to enhance them. 

The Rectus Abdominus is one of the three abdominal muscles and it is important for proper posture. The other two are the transverse abdominis and the obliques muscles. We engage the rectus abdominis when flexing the spinal column. It is also active during side bending motions, compressing the abdomen (e.g. sit-ups) and helps stabilize the trunk during extreme movements. Yoga, Pilates and Ballet are three activities that would require you to have a strong rectus abdominis. 

In general having strong abdominal muscles helps stabilize your torso, which reduces aches and pains in your lower back. Benefits of strong abdominal muscles also include: better breathing, improved posture, resulting in less back pains, helps a person avoid injury when performing tasks that put stress on the back and torso, and helping the body to heal faster after an injury or surgery to the spine.

The abdominal muscles can be strengthened through exercise. It is important to exercise the abdominal muscles regularly in order to maintain the strength needed for the abdominal muscles to effectively lower stress to the spine during movement.

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